Guy Gavriel Kay
|Born||November 7, 1954|
Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada
Guy Gavriel Kay (born November 7, 1954) is a Canadian writer of fantasy fiction. The majority of his novels take place in fictional settings that resemble real places during real historical periods, such as Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I or Spain during the time of El Cid. Kay has expressed a preference to avoid genre categorization of these works as historical fantasy. As of 2022[update], Kay has published 15 novels and a book of poetry. As of 2018[update], his fiction has been translated into at least 22 languages. Kay is also a qualified lawyer in Canada.
When Christopher Tolkien needed an assistant to edit his father J. R. R. Tolkien's unpublished work, he chose Kay, then a student of philosophy at the University of Manitoba, because of a family connection. Kay moved to Oxford in 1974 to assist Christopher in editing The Silmarillion.
He returned to Canada in 1975 to pursue a law degree at the University of Toronto, which he obtained in 1978; he was called to the bar of Ontario in 1981. Kay became principal writer and an associate producer for a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio series, The Scales of Justice, and continued as principal writer when the series transferred to television.
Kay has stated concerns about the decline of individual privacy, the expectation of privacy, and also literary privacy. The latter primarily concerns the use of real individuals in works of fiction, such as Michael Cunningham having based The Hours on Virginia Woolf.
- The Fionavar Tapestry, a portal fantasy in which five travel from our Earth to "the first of all worlds"
- Tigana (1990), taking place in a setting based on Renaissance Italy
- A Song for Arbonne (1992), inspired by the Albigensian Crusade in medieval Provence
- The Lions of Al-Rassan (1995), set in an analogue of medieval Spain
- The Sarantine Mosaic, inspired by the Byzantium of Justinian I
- The Last Light of the Sun (2004), inspired by the Viking invasions during the reign of Alfred the Great
- Ysabel (2007), a contemporary fantasy set in Provence, centering on a teenage boy and his encounters with characters from the distant past. Linked to his Fionavar Tapestry series.
- Under Heaven (April 27, 2010), inspired by the 8th century Tang Dynasty and the events leading up to the An Shi Rebellion
- River of Stars (April 2, 2013), taking place in the same setting as Under Heaven, based on the 12th century Song Dynasty and the events around the Jin-Song Wars and the transition from Northern Song to Southern Song
- Children of Earth and Sky (May 10, 2016), taking place in the same world as The Lions of Al-Rassan, The Sarantine Mosaic, and The Last Light of the Sun, and taking place in a world based on Italy, Istanbul and the Balkans in the 15th century
- A Brightness Long Ago (May 14, 2019), prequel to Children of Earth and Sky
- All the Seas of the World (May 17, 2022), sequel to A Brightness Long Ago
- Beyond This Dark House (2003), a collection
Awards and distinctions
- Kay won the 1985 Scales of Justice Award for best media treatment of a legal issue, Canadian Law Reform Commission, 1985, for "Second Time Around".
- The Wandering Fire won the 1987 Prix Aurora Award in the English category for best speculative fiction.
- Kay won the 1991 Aurora Award for Best Novel for Tigana.
- Kay was runner up for the White Pine Award in 2007 for Ysabel.
- Ysabel was the winner of the 2008 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.
- Kay won the International Goliardos Award for his contributions of the international literature of the fantastic.
- Under Heaven won the Sunburst Award in 2011 and was longlisted for the IMPAC/Dublin Literary prize.
- Kay was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014 "for his contributions to the field of speculative fiction as an internationally celebrated author".
- Under Heaven won the 2015 Prix Elbakin in France.
- River of Stars won the 2017 Prix Elbakin in France.
- Under Heaven was named the best fantasy novel of the year by The American Library Association, and was the SF Book Club's Book of the Year.
- Kay has been nominated several times for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature.
- Kay has been nominated four times for the World Fantasy Award, and won in 2008 for "'Ysabel'".
- Kay has been nominated multiple times for the Canadian Sunburst Award.
- "au:Guy Gavriel Kay". WorldCat. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
- Flood, Alison (October 29, 2014). "Guy Gavriel Kay: 'I learned a lot about false starts from JRR Tolkien'". The Guardian. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
- Myman, Francesca (May 15, 2016). "Guy Gavriel Kay: Journeying". Locus magazine. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
- Flood, Alison (October 29, 2014). "Guy Gavriel Kay: 'I learned a lot about false starts from JRR Tolkien'". The Guardian. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
- Levin, Martin (December 2, 2000). "Privacy between the covers". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
- Woods, Stuart (December 18, 2007). "The Internet, and other modern horrors". Quill & Quire. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
- "Professional Awards (1980–2006)". Archived from the original on March 25, 2010.
- "A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay". PenguinRandomhouse.com. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- "Awards | World Fantasy Convention". Archived from the original on October 27, 2012.
- "Shortlist for the 2005 Sunburst Award". Archived from the original on March 17, 2010.
- "2011 Sunburst Award Winners". Archived from the original on August 9, 2014.
- "International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award: 2012 Longlist". Archived from the original on April 21, 2013.
- General, Office of the Secretary to the Governor. "The Governor General of Canada". The Governor General of Canada.
- Cerny, Dory (July 2, 2014). "Guy Gavriel Kay, Chris Hadfield given Order of Canada honours". Quill & Quire. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
- "Remise de trophées du prix Elbakin.net". www.elbakin.net (in French). Retrieved October 13, 2018.
- "Remise des trophées du prix Elbakin.net adulte aux Utopiales 2017". www.elbakin.net (in French). Retrieved October 13, 2018.
- "2011 The REading list | Awards & Grants". www.ala.org. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
- Landau, Emily (May 14, 2013). "Slaying dragons". The Walrus. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
- Tarantino, Bob (September 7, 2016). "The fantastic fiction of Guy Gavriel Kay". C2C Journal. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
- Bright Weavings – authorized website with some contributions by Kay
- Kay at publisher Penguin Books Canada
- Guy Gavriel Kay at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Guy Gavriel Kay at Library of Congress Authorities, with 22 catalogue records
Interviews and lectures
- Interview at Boomtron.com
- Interview on the now-defunct Event Horizon at the Wayback Machine (archived October 4, 1999)
- Interview by Raymond H. Thompson at the Library of Rochester
- World Fantasy 2008 Podcast
- In May 2021, Kay delivered the eighth Tolkien Lecture at Pembroke College, Oxford.
- , 'Guy Gavriel Kay Lecture Recording', May 14, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2021.